No Christmas tree lot for Menlo Park Kiwanis for the first time in 50 years

by Linda Hubbard on October 7, 2020

For the first time in 50 years the Menlo Park Kiwanis Club will not be operating its Christmas Tree lot due to a variety of circumstances, according to the Club.

One reason is that Stanford University has established “no entry” zones on its campus to control the spread of Covid-19.  There is no way to know if this will change by mid-November, when the Club normally starts organizing the lot, said the Club.

In addition, meeting the protocols required by Santa Clara County to operate a retail business, even one that is outside, requires an additional cost estimated to be $3,000-$8,000 for signage, masks, hand sanitizer, gloves, etc. is considered challenging and would result in a direct reduction of net income.

“As you know, the Tree Lot is our major fund raiser each year. In fact, the arrival of Covid-19 has prevented all of our fund-raising events this year,” said the Club’s President Jeff Jahnke.  “We have not held the travel raffle nor the Bowl-a-Thon.

“We will still be a force for good in the community,” he continued.  “Fortunately, the club has built reserves in its Foundation accounts that should carry us through 2020 and even into 2021.  We are committed to helping the community, and our work goes on.  Assuming Covid-19 is under control by this time next year we expect to open the Christmas Tree Lot and welcome back our loyal customers.

“That said, this would be a perfect year to include our Club in your end-of-year gifting plans,” he added. The Foundation is an approved 501-c3 organization, which makes all donations tax deductible.”

Donations can be made to:   Kiwanis Club of Menlo Park Foundation, PO Box 311, Menlo Park, CA 94026.

So far this year, awards included $50,000 in college scholarships to M-A  graduates, and donations of $10,000 each were made to St. Anthony’s Dining Hall, Generations Together, and the St. Francis Center. Each of these organizations are in the Fair Oaks area hard hit by pandemic shut downs of many service businesses.

In addition, a donation of $5,000 was made to the M-A Football Association to support tutoring, testing and promotion of players eligible for college athletic scholarships. Pictured above is Susan Mohr, leader of the Menlo-Atherton Football Association and Chris Saunders, the new football coach at M-A holding the $5,000 check.

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